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Old 02-11-2019, 12:33 PM   #1
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Toad Instability flat Towing Above 55 mph

We have been dealing with problems of instability as we try towing our 2015 GMC Terrain behind our 2015 Coachmen Leprechaun 320 BH. We are using a Blue Ox Alpha Tow bar and the corresponding Blue Ox Base Plate for our Terrain.

We made the move to a toad after consistently reading that you "don't even know it's back there". On our first trip any time we drove over 45 mph we definitely knew it was back there as it would cause our motorhome to become unstable in the rear with a similar feeling that you get from pulling an unstable trailer. We got home and I did some reading and double checked the height difference between the toad attachment point and the receiver hitch and found it was greater than the Blue Ox recommendation. I got a Blue Ox drop receiver so that the height difference is well within tolerance. We just took a trip with the new configuration and found some improvement. But above 55 mph the swaying returns as before. Everyone I have talked to says they can easily drive at 65 mph without noticing any stability issues from their toad.

I have checked to make sure the rear sway bar is secure and it is. So I am out of solutions. I am wondering if an aftermarket rear sway bar like those offered by Roadmaster would cure the problem? I have also wondered is there are just certain vehicles that do not tow with stability. I don't mind spending money to fix the problem. I juast don't want to have to spend a lot of money on guesses that could likely offer no improvement.

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:01 PM   #2
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Does it have the 4 cylinder engine? IF so, many others have had a great deal of problems with the steering. It starts to wobble and so far, no one has found a cure that I know of.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:09 PM   #3
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Here is the latest GMC TSB regarding this issue. Several people report this has cured their instability issues on their 4 cylinder Equinox / Terrain vehicles.

https://community.fmca.com/topic/117...-2017-terrain/


One other thing to do is have a four wheel thrust angle alignment done on the Terrain and road force balance all four tires.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas John View Post
Any help would be appreciated!
Texas John, Where are you? I'm in north Dallas.

I may not be of any help, but I have a Coachmen Freelander 29QB on a Chevy chassis. While not exactly the same layout as yours (no bunks, no BR slide) it is similar. The living room is the same layout.

We tow a 2011 Chev Equinox (slightly smaller than your terrain). Luckily, I am one of those who doesn't know it is back there.

In looking up your RV, I notice that you have a VERY LONG overhang, that is the distance between the rear tire and the towing hitch. That long lever-arm could be amplifying even a slight side-to-side movement of the RV.

To help identify the cause of the swaying, I would suggest that you tie a white rag to the top of the steering wheel and watch in your rear camera or have someone watch out the rear window to see if the steering wheel is wig-wagging as you drive.

That may not tell you if the Terrain is the total source of the sway, but it might help.

Make the same drive WITHOUT towing and see if the sway is still there. Many people NEVER drive their RV without a towed vehicle.

I would also suggest that you stop by a TRUCK SERVICE Center for your chassis (Chev/Ford) and get a fresh front to back alignment.

The front end is aligned when the manufacturer builds the cut-away chassis, but is RARELY re-aligned when the RV part is added to the chassis. The weight of the RV part will cause the chassis to lower and WILL affect the alignment.

I had my Chev chassis front end aligned and it made a world of difference.

Ask THEM about whether an "anti-tramp bar" will help the sway. An anti-tramp bar is a long bar that attaches side-to-side to the frame on one end and to the rear axle on the other end. It keeps the rear axle from moving from side-to-side under the RV.

Please let us know what you come up with.

ALSO pay attention to the GM TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) above. THAT may be the best and cheapest fix.

Tim
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lllkrob View Post
Here is the latest GMC TSB regarding this issue. Several people report this has cured their instability issues on their 4 cylinder Equinox / Terrain vehicles.
Rob,

We tow a 2011 Equinox and currently pull fuse 32. I don't have any issues towing it.



Thanks for the TSB. We are going out THIS weekend, I will try pulling fuse 16 rather than 32 and see if that makes any difference.


Tim
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:48 PM   #6
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It's called a track bar or panhard rod.




I had a bit of swaying with our CRV and found I had some movement in my drop down receiver and the tow bar.
I put a couple of anti-receiver clamps on my drop down and the tow bar and that did away with the movement.
There are many manufacturers but this is what I use with my ReadyBrute towbar:


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Old 02-11-2019, 09:58 PM   #7
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I tow a 06 Jetta that has electric power steering and the cure for it is a simple bungee cord thru the steering wheel spokes and down to the seat base , returns wheels to center and we run 75 + if i desire no swaying. Before spending big money give it a try bet it cures it.
Old trick from jeep and 4x4 towers
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:41 AM   #8
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Well, since we can't edit our own posts, I meant receiver clamps, not anti-receiver.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:38 AM   #9
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I tow a 06 Jetta that has electric power steering and the cure for it is a simple bungee cord thru the steering wheel spokes and down to the seat base , returns wheels to center and we run 75 + if i desire no swaying. Before spending big money give it a try bet it cures it.
Old trick from jeep and 4x4 towers
I had been thinking of this. Apparently the problem with the 4 cylinder GMC is the electric power steering unit. . That is why they changed their recommendation to leave in fuse 32 and take out fuse 16. But as we know there is no "free ride". In the recommended case from GM when you remove fuse 16 you have to put a charging system is for your toad battery because for some reason i do not understand, removing fuse 16 will cause the battery to drain. I am going to try the bungee methodology first.

AND ON TOP OF THIS, I READ TODAY THAT THERE IS A PENDING CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST GM FOR FAULTY PISTON RINGS IN THE 4 CYLINDER TERRAIN AND EQUINOX WHICH CAUSE LARGE OIL CONSUMPTION IN MANY , BUT NOT ALL, OF THESE VEHICLES WHICH RESULTS IN COSTLY ENGINE REPAIRS IF NOT REPLACEMENT.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:51 AM   #10
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Well, since we can't edit our own posts, I meant receiver clamps, not anti-receiver.

I think the "window" for editing is 1 hour after you post. I'd prefer more time but have learned to not question such things here.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:22 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=
I had a bit of swaying with our CRV and found I had some movement in my drop down receiver and the tow bar.
I put a couple of anti-receiver clamps on my drop down and the tow bar and that did away with the movement.[/QUOTE]

I had the same problem and followed somewhat the same solution, only mine was homemade. I accomplished the same thing by drilling a large hole in the top of the receiver and welding a nut there that is a bit smaller than the hole. After the ball hitch is inserted and the pin installed, the bolt in the nut is screwed down through the hole against the ball hitch. That is inexpensive and has worked for me for many years. Now, all our vehicles have hitches with that feature.

We have towed at 70 on interstates for years without problems.

My thought is that eliminating any movement between the ball hitch and the receiver would be the most economical place top start.

Best of luck.

Steve
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:29 PM   #12
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I think I would forget the bungee cord and do he charge line. Run a 12 gague wire from battery to battery + post works great.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:20 PM   #13
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I think I would forget the bungee cord and do he charge line. Run a 12 gague wire from battery to battery + post works great.
So exactly how is that done. Surely it is a bit more complex than running just an insulated wire from the + post of the coach battery underneath coach across the tow bar underneath the toad and up to the + post of the toad battery. That would seem to offer several potential integrity problems.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:23 PM   #14
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So given the information that the 4 cylinder Terrain and Equinox have piston ring issues leading to premature engine failure, how many people here have one one of these vehicles that have significant mileage on them that would refute this concern?
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